Purposes and Beliefs
(Updated, December 30, 2016)
The following sections are quoted from the WCA bylaws and were presented for affirmation at the October 7 WCA Launch Event.
Purposes. The Wesleyan Covenant Association (“WCA”) is an association of congregations, clergy persons, and laity who desire to cooperate in the mission of the WCA to promote the ministry of the gospel from a Wesleyan theological perspective within The United Methodist Church and kindred bodies. The WCA is organized exclusively for religious purposes. The purposes for which the WCA is formed include, but are not limited to:
A. To promote the worship of the Holy Trinity, to preach the pure Word of God, to uphold the rich tradition of sacramental practice, to maintain Christian fellowship, to foster the edification of believers, and to welcome and advance the work of the Kingdom of God on earth.
B. To be obedient to our Lord Jesus Christ’s command to “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I [Jesus] have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20).
C. To support disciples of Jesus Christ by proclaiming the good news of salvation through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and by exemplifying Jesus’ command to love God and neighbor, by any suitable method or media, which includes but is not limited to the following:
1. Connecting local churches who worship Jesus Christ, by using personal evangelism, television and radio, the Internet, conventions, preaching, teaching, missions and other Christian methods;
2. Assisting and furthering the proclamation of Scriptural Christianity through printed and digital material, by providing speakers, mentoring, or coaching, and by other instructional and educational programs which may be deemed necessary or convenient in effecting the above purposes; and
3. Establishing new programs of outreach and ministry, and the strengthening and partnering with existing programs and organizations that have a similar purpose and dedication to presenting Christ as Savior and Lord.
D. To explore and promote the full ministry of the good and life-giving Holy Spirit throughout the life and work of the church, not least in the entire sanctification of Christian disciples.
E. To guide the ministries of the WCA within the boundaries of the statement of faith, using accountability processes for congregations, clergy, and lay members as shall be promulgated by the WCA.
F. To engage in spiritual work and services based upon the authority of the Holy Bible.
What We Believe
Revised December 30, 2016
Statement on Biblical Authority
Given the current challenges directed to the unique place of the Bible in the church, we affirm that the core of the Christian faith is revealed in Scripture as “the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 3; NRSV). We look to the Bible therefore as our authority and trustworthy guide, which “is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16; NRSV). Illuminated by tradition, reason, and experience, the revelation of Scripture is the church’s primary and final authority on all matters of faith and practice.
Statement of Faith
We affirm classical Wesleyan doctrine and the historic faith, which the church has used to define the parameters of Christian teaching. Doctrine, properly understood, unifies the church and gives direction to its life. All congregational, clergy, and lay members of the WCA affirm the following Doctrinal Standards:
- The Nicene Creed (AD 381) –
- The Articles of Religion of the Methodist Church (AD 1808) –
- The Confession of Faith of the Evangelical United Brethren Church (AD 1963) –
- The Standard Sermons of John Wesley –
- The Explanatory Notes Upon the New Testament by John Wesley (1755) –
- The General Rules of The Methodist Church (1868) –
Statement of Moral Principles
Given our current time and context, we highlight and affirm the following moral principles, acknowledging that other moral principles merit our further attention.
Scripture teaches that men and women are of equal value in the eyes of God. Accordingly, the church should treat women and men equally. We believe that both women and men are called to and gifted for ordained and licensed ministry, and both genders are able to hold any role of leadership within the WCA.
We believe that all persons are of sacred worth. Therefore, we gladly welcome all who seek to grow in their relationship with God to attend worship services and participate in the church’s ministries. No person shall be disqualified from becoming a member of a local congregation, holding a leadership position in the church, or becoming an ordained or licensed clergy based on race, color, nationality, national origin, marital status, or economic condition. The WCA specifically renounces all racial and ethnic discrimination and commits itself to work toward full racial and ethnic equality in the church and in society.
Marriage and Sexuality
We believe marriage and sexual intimacy are good gifts from God. In keeping with Christian teaching through the ages and throughout the Church universal, we believe that marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union. We believe that God intends faithfulness in marriage and celibacy in singleness.
We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual or group are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of the WCA.